Former Trump Adviser Navarro Declines to Accept Plea Offer, Prosecutor Says
Sarah N. Lynch Friday, 15 July 2022 02:58 PM EDT
Peter Navarro, a former adviser to then-President Donald Trump, declined an offer by the government to plead guilty to a contempt of Congress charge, the lead federal prosecutor in the case told a judge on Friday.
Last month, Navarro pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, after he refused to provide testimony or documents to the U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol.
At a status hearing on Friday, federal prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta about the plea offer that Navarro had rejected.
Aloi said the department offered to let him plead guilty to a single count. The deal also would have required him to "comply with the January 6 committee subpoena to the satisfaction of the Justice Department."
Navarro's attorneys on Friday again reiterated their concerns regarding the circumstances surrounding his arrest last month, in which he was taken into custody at Reagan National Airport and hand-cuffed even though he had been in touch with the FBI previously and lives across the street from the FBI's office in Washington, D.C.
"It is curious to me, at a minimum, why the government treated Mr. Navarro's arrest the way it did," Mehta agreed, noting Navarro is not charged with a violent crime.
"It's surprising that self-surrender was not offered as an opportunity."